Elect John Leopold for 1st District Supervisor

Endorsements for the November 2018 Election

Soquel School Board – Carolyn Freedman & Phil Rodriguez
Santa Cruz City Schools – Jeremy Shonick & Cindy Ranii
Port District – Reed Geistreiter & Toby Goddard
Santa Cruz City Council – Donna Meyers & Justin Cummings

Local Measures

Measure A – Scotts Valley Unified School District Parcel Tax

Would levy a parcel tax for five years of $108 per parcel annually to fund education programs, staffing, and technology. There are only a few schools that don’t have parcel taxes in our county and they provide needed funds for critical components of our educational system. Seniors 65 and older can apply for permanent exemption to the parcel taxes, and spending would be overseen by a citizens’ oversight committee as required by state law. Vote YES on Measure A.

Measure B – Soquel Union Elementary School Parcel Tax

Would levy a parcel tax for six years of $96 per parcel annually to fund education programs and staffing. Schools needs this additional revenue to provide valuable programs and attract and retain staff in this CA Distinguished School district. Seniors can apply for a permanent exemption and an oversight committee is required. Vote YES on Measure B.

Measure G – Santa Cruz County Sales Tax

The County has worked hard since the Great Recession to strengthen the County's financial foundation. We have reduced our pension costs, increased our reserves, secured a stronger credit rating and saved millions by deploying new solar arrays on County facilities. In this year's budget process, we heard from local residents and staff about programs and investments that address critical unmet community needs but where we lacked adequate funding. Measure G will support a public safety and behavioral health outreach team to address the over 300 calls the Sheriff's Office receives requesting assistance for people suffering from mental illness. In addition, funding will be used to support new year-round homeless navigation centers/shelters in North and South County. Responding to one-time capital needs, the measure will also fund several parks throughout the county, including LEO's Haven at Chanticleer Park, the County's first all-inclusive playground for children of all abilities, the Farm Park and the Heart of Soquel Park. Vote YES on Measure G.

Measure H – Santa Cruz County Affordable Housing

This parcel tax will provide needed funding to support the construction of affordable housing, first time home buyer assistance and homeless services. Funds from this measure will get leveraged with new state funds and help build deed-restricted affordable housing. Vote YES on Measure H.

Measure L – City of Capitola Greenway Initiative

This confusing measure gives the impression that it will stop the establishment of passenger rail and help build the rail trail through Capitola. In fact, the measure does nothing about whether a train will or won’t come through Capitola as the railway is owned by the RTC. What will likely happen is due to the language of this initiative, the RTC may choose to bypass Capitola until the other parts of the trail are built. Put Capitola first and Vote NO on Measure L.

State Measures

Prop. 1 - Housing Programs and Veterans' Loans Bond

Would authorize $4 billion in bonds for housing-related programs, housing loans for veterans including $1.5 billion for Multifamily Housing Program for low-income residents, $1 billion for loans to help veterans purchase farms and homes, $450 million for infill and transit-oriented housing projects, $300 million for farmworker housing program, and $300 million for manufactured and mobile homes. Placed on the ballot by the legislature and supported by a wide range of groups. Vote YES on Prop. 1.

Prop. 2 - Use Millionaire's Tax Revenue for Homelessness Prevention Housing Bonds Measure

The legislature passed legislation to spend revenue from Proposition 63 on revenue bonds for homelessness prevention housing in 2016. Prop. 63 taxes millionaires to pay for mental health services. The legislation, however, did not go into effect because of pending litigation over whether revenue from the millionaire's tax could be spent on homelessness prevention housing. Housing advocates strongly support this measure, although some in the mental health community are concerned about the loss of funding for mental health programs. Overall the balance of helping ensure housing for those in need will help address the community affected by mental illness. Vote YES on Prop. 2.

Prop. 3 - California Water Infrastructure and Watershed Conservation Bond 

Would sell $8.9 billion in bonds for water infrastructure, groundwater supplies and storage, surface water storage and dam repairs, watershed and fisheries improvements, and habitat protection and restoration. The state passed a major water bond in 2014 and has only spent 86% of those funds. While there are good organizations that support this measure, the Sierra Club and the League of Women Voters have come out against this measure as they fear that the water solutions will result in environmental harm, that the proposition shifts funds inappropriately from the cap and trade program and has taxpayers picking up the tab for major water infrastructure investments instead of the corporate entities that will benefit from these programs. Vote NO on Prop. 3.

Prop. 4 - Children's Hospital Bonds Initiative

Would provide $1.5 billion in bonds to provide grants to children's hospitals for construction, expansion, renovation, and equipment projects. Although we voted on bonds for children’s hospitals before, the low reimbursements rates for Medi-Cal make it difficult for maintaining the infrastructure of these important pieces of the health care continuum. Vote YES on Prop. 4.

Prop. 5 - Property Tax Transfer Initiative

Currently, state law allows homeowners over 55 to transfer tax assessed value from their prior home to new home. While counties are required by law to accept prior tax bills for in-county moves, the Board of Supervisors has decision-making authority on whether the county accepts inter-county transfers. This was established under Proposition 90 (1988) and appropriately recognizes the unique fiscal pressures and local service demands that differ greatly from one county to the next. Unfortunately, Proposition 5 eliminates this essential element of local control by allowing eligible homeowners to take their property tax bills with them anywhere in the state, regardless of local decisions. The Legislative Analysts’ Office (LAO) estimates that the sum of these changes would reduce property tax revenues initially by $150 million per year, growing to several billion dollars per year over time. To help sustain funding for critical programs in our county, local schools, and fire districts from out-of-county tax transfers Vote NO on Prop. 5.

Prop. 6 - Voter Approval for Future Gas and Vehicle Taxes and 2017 Tax Repeal Initiative

After years of lack of funding from the state government, the legislature passed SB1 to increase the gas tax for the first time since 1993, place an annual charge on electric vehicles, hike the diesel tax for trucks and make increase in vehicle registration fees. This new funding has become critical for our county as we seek to recover from the over $100 million in damages from the 2017 storms. SB1 funds help pay the $20 million in local match to repair our roads. If Prop 6 passes the County road system will lose over $6.5 million annually and we will need to start triaging our road system once again. This is a cynical attempt by Republican Congressional leaders to boost turnout of their voters to help endangered candidates in this election. Don’t fall for it and help protect our road system and vote NO on Prop. 6.

Prop. 7 - Permanent Daylight Saving Time Measure

Would allow the legislature to establish permanent, year-round daylight saving time (DST) by a two-thirds vote if the federal Uniform Time Act is changed to allow for permanent DST. The federal government would need to approve it if the legislature wants to adopt permanent DST. I’m not sure there is a burning need for this and there are some who say it might even lead to more accidents. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Vote NO on Prop. 7.

Prop. 8 - Limits on Dialysis Clinics' Revenue and Required Refunds Initiative

Proposition 8 will push for-profit dialysis corporations to spend more money on direct patient care. Dialysis corporation revenues will be limited to no more than 15% above the amount they spend on patient care. By linking revenue to care, dialysis corporations will have a greater incentive to invest in patient care. A wide coalition supports Prop 8 including the CA Labor Federation, CA Professional Firefighters, the CA (and Santa Cruz) Democratic Party and an array of community groups and health care organizations. Vote YES on Prop. 8.

Prop. 10 - Local Rent Control Initiative/Affordable Housing Act

This is not the City of Santa Cruz rent control measure. This measure would repeal a blatantly unfair law known as Costa-Hawkins which created an arbitrary line demarcating which homes that a local government can regulate. Under the law, any rental unit built after 1995 cannot be covered by rent control. If a community decides it wants to enact a local rent control measure, all housing should be treated the same. Costa Hawkins usurps local regulations. Supported by housing organizations, labor, the CA Democratic Party, and the ACLU. Vote YES on Prop. 10.

Prop. 11 - Ambulance Employees Paid On-Call Breaks, Training, and Mental Health Services Initiative

Would change California’s labor code, which currently guarantees workers at private ambulance companies time to eat and rest. Sponsored by AMR, one of the largest ambulance providers in the state to address a recent Supreme Court ruling that would require them to add additional staff so ambulance staff could take breaks uninterrupted. Opposed by the CA Labor Federation. Vote No on Prop. 11.

Prop 12 - Farm Animal Confinement Initiative

Voters passed Prop. 2 in 2008 that banned the confinement of pregnant pigs, calves raised for veal, and egg-laying hens in a manner that did not allow them to turn around freely, lie down, stand up, and fully extend their limbs. Prop. 12 would add a specific number of square feet. Supported by a broad range of groups from nearly all the major animal welfare organizations, CA Democratic Party, the Sierra Club, and the CA Labor Federation. Vote YES on Prop. 12.